Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • “You are the weakest link…”

    Posted on February 16th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    There is something wrong with this picture…

    Let me give you a little hint…

    Well, after the metamorphosis I have found the next weak link. In this case it was the front Sway Bar End-Link. This piece should connect the end of the Sway Bar to the wheel/shock and help keep both front wheels moving together (greatly reducing body roll). The ball/pin that has come out of the End Link and the Sway Bar was not even connecting the two wheels!

    This is one of the few stock pieces of the suspension that were not upgraded as part of the metamorphosis, so it doesn’t really surprise me that it was the new weakest link… but not for long!

    I have ordered some new, stronger, BMR Sway Bar End Links and they will be installed before the next time I hit the twisty roads!

  • Two Years… Where did the time go?

    Posted on February 15th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    It is hard to believe that another year has passed. The G8 is doing great, despite not being driven much this year. The odometer is at 20,500 miles (yeah… I only put 4k miles on it this year) so there is lots of life left!

    This year, being away from the G8 and all of my NorCal GOAT friends, has been quite rough. Having worked so much has allowed me to transform the G8 into the car of my dreams, but it didn’t come without suffering. I spend my nights dreaming of when I’ll be back home with the gang and all the time I’ll have to spend with the G8.

    This year I plan on taking a little time to myself and going on some “explorations”. There are all sorts of roads around the US that I have a desire to drive… and I think I’m going to try to take some time to explore them. I will also be getting the G8 out onto the track (Road Course and Auto-X) to test out all the new upgrades.

  • Metamorphosis is Complete!

    Posted on February 10th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    After months of patiently waiting… the metamorphosis is complete!

    Over the past year I have been working on a plan for converting my G8 GT from a mild-mannered daily driver into a Road Course and Auto-X attacking beast. I put a plan together to modestly increase the power and tighten-up the handling without compromising the drivability and reliability. The car is still my daily driver, but it now has a new attitude.

    Magnacharger TVS1900
    60lb Injectors
    Ported throttle body
    Roto-fab Cold Air Intake
    JBA Shorty Headers
    SOLO High Flow Cats (w/wideband bungs)
    Corsa Cat-back Exhaust
    Billet Prototype Catch Can

    Camaro Differential w/3.45 Gears
    GForce 1000 HP Race Axles
    Transmission Cooler

    Pedders Track II kit with Super Car Coilovers
    Spohn Rear Lower Control Arms (Poly Bushings)
    Spohn Rear Trailing Arms (Poly Bushings)
    Spohn Rear Toe Links (Poly Bushings)
    Baer Pro Plus Big Brake Kit (Front & Rear) w/14″ Slotted Rotors

    BMR Sub-Frame Connectors
    BMR Driveshaft Tunnel Brace

    In-Dash GPS
    JHP Double Hump Gauge Pod w/Autometer Sport Comp II Gauges (Boost & Fuel Pressure)
    HSV Smoker’s Package
    Sliding Console Lid
    Back-up Camera w/VIM and iPod integration
    Factory (2009.5) OnStar w/Bluetooth
    V1 Radar Detector w/custom Remote Display
    Race-Technologies DL1 Data Logger (20Hz Advanced GPS) and DASH 3 Display

    Exterior Appearance:
    Maverick Man Carbon Fiber Spoiler
    GXP Rear Diffuser

    Wrenched & Tuned by:

    The engine has received a modest upgrade and now puts 444hp and 460tq to the rear wheels (an increase of over 36%)!

    The Magnacharger TVS1900 is running the stock pulley size, so is producing around 6psi of boost. This is a very manageable level for the otherwise stock engine. If I ever feel the urge to get some more power I have the option of decreasing the pulley size on the Magnacharger (which makes it turn faster… producing more boost), but that will also require an overhaul of the stock fuel system.

    Some may say that bolting a supercharger to the engine would be the most noticeable change, but the most complex and noticeable upgrade has to be the suspension. Yes, the suspension!

    While the added power from the Magnacharger TVS1900 is nice, it is only there when you decide to push on the gas peddle.  The suspension is always there, keeping the car glued to the road… Just begging to be driven harder and faster!

    The first time I drove the G8 after the mods were performed I was shocked just how well the car handled. It’s not like the stock suspension in the G8 was bad (read any of my previous entries where I was hitting the corners hard), but the difference is just night and day.

    Even at low speeds, “scrubbing the tires” (turning right/left quickly) you can feel how instantaneous the steering response is. The car just goes where I tell it… without any hesitation or hints of body roll. When pushing things harder, like a 90-degree turn at an apex speed of 35mph, there isn’t even a chirp from the wheels. I truly believe… I will fly-out the door… before the car looses grip of the road.

    There are some consequences to having a car that handles so well… and it starts with a decrease in overall ride quality. While there is huge adjustability built into the Supercar Coilovers (which I have not yet had the time to experiment with), removing the “slop” and “flex” from the suspension has resulted in not having anything to keep the bumps and imperfections of the road from reaching cabin. Driving over pavement that once seemed smooth is now a bit rough… and probably more than most people would desire in their daily driver. Also having the car almost an inch lower means I can no longer shop at the supermarket down the street (because of bottoming-out over the entry way), but when you can do this… who cares!?!

    For me, I think the setup is just about perfect…

    With the suspension setup for handling, there was also a nice side-effect… the rear suspension is now ready to take the added power being produced by the Magnacharger. Having all the power in the world means nothing if you can’t get it to the pavement. Before the suspension upgrades I was experiencing wheel hop due to flex in the rear suspension.

    Time will tell if this is fixed, but the leading causes (Lower Control Arms, Trailing Arms, and Toe Links) are all new/stronger. I also upgraded the axles and rear differential to minimize the risks of breaking something when putting the new power to the ground.

    The new 3.45 rear gear ratio (up from 2.92) gives the car a real kick when accelerating. First gear is very quick, and is nearly impossible at wide open throttle (especially with traction control off). One of the down sides of running a taller gear ratio is needing to use higher RPMs at freeway speeds… and in turn a decrease in fuel economy. Remarkably, after a 26 mile drive on the freeway (average speed 55mph) I had an average fuel economy of 28.3mpg!

    Now, what good is a car that can go fast and turn… if it can’t also stop? To help complete the package of my G8 I decided to also upgrade to a Baer Big Break Kit.

    I have not yet had a chance to fully test-out the new brakes, since I’m waiting for the rotors/pads to fully break-in, but so far they are very nice. Slowing from speeds unimaginable before has been very predictable.

    Before I said the G8 has a split personality… now it’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde! I can drive around town in a quiet car with almost no hint of the beast waiting to be unleashed…

    Overall, I am very pleased with how the car turned-out. I was getting a little afraid that the suspension would be too firm/rough, or that the 3.45 gears would be too tall, etc… but everything has come together better than I could have ever imagined!

    The next round of mods are already in the works. Since I have the “go” taken care of, I figured I would work on some of the “show”. I could tell you all my plans now, but that would take away some of the surprise of revealing it when it is finished!